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Species and Speciation in the Fossil Record$
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Warren D. Allmon and Margaret M. Yacobucci

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226377445

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226377582.001.0001

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Morphology and Molecules: An Integrated Comparison of Phenotypic and Genetic Rates of Evolution

Morphology and Molecules: An Integrated Comparison of Phenotypic and Genetic Rates of Evolution

Chapter:
(p.168) Chapter Five Morphology and Molecules: An Integrated Comparison of Phenotypic and Genetic Rates of Evolution
Source:
Species and Speciation in the Fossil Record
Author(s):

Steven J. Hageman

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226377582.003.0006

Our understanding of processes that contribute to the origin of species is informed by the study of phenotypic variation (morphology) through geologic time and broader phenotypes of living organisms in modern ecological space. Molecular data (DNA) and ecological theory have greatly enhanced our understanding, but it has proven difficult to combine morphologic data from the fossil record with molecular data into integrated studies of evolutionary rates. I propose a method in which morphologic and molecular data are collected from the same suite of closely related living specimens. Morphologic and molecular data are standardized within the study and scaled in a way such that geologic time (chronostratigraphy) and time derived from a molecular clock can also be scaled, creating a data set in a single, comparable, mathematical space where changes within and among species can be plotted by morphologic distance, molecular distance and calibrated geologic time. This method allows for hypothesis testing of relationships within and among species in a morpho-molecular-temporal space, and exploration of patterns of change and fixation in the genes responsible for variation in morphologic systems.

Keywords:   phenotypic variation, molecular clock, origin of species, morphology, distance

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